Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Boat

Today I glued the gunwales on one side of the boat.  They are made up of three layers of 1/2" x 1 1/2".  The boat is almost 22' long, so I used that scarfing jig that you saw yesterday to splice the ends of my shorter lumber together.  Everything on the boat is glued with epoxy.  It is expensive and messy, but it is the ultimate in high strength, waterproof glue.

In this photos you can see the ramp that opens up on the bow.  It is designed to make it easy to load an ATV into the boat.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Scarfing Jig

Today I worked on my boat.  The boat is in the middle of a large repair/modification.  It's a long story, but the short version is that I built a wooden boat a few years ago, used it a little, 10,000 pounds of snow broke it in half, I decided to fix it and make it longer.

This photo shows a jig that I built for cutting the scarfs in narrow wooden strips.  A "scarf" is a long tapered glue joint that is used to turn short pieces into long ones. 

Hopefully the weather will stay nice (the boat does not fit in the shop) and you will get to see more of the boat in the next couple of weeks.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Yamaha Grizzly 550

Someone brought a Yamaha Grizzly 550 ATV over for me to look at. They said that it made a bad grinding sound and became very hot when they drove it.

I took a look at it and noticed that the top of the engine was covered with black dust. This machine, like a lot of newer ATV's, uses a belt drive CVT similar to the drive train on a snowmobile. On closer inspection the dust looked like the residue from a worn out drive belt. I took the cover off the clutches and discovered that a bolt had come loose and had been rattling around inside the cover. The belt was destroyed and the clutches are beaten up pretty bad.

The machine will need a new belt and I am going to recommend to the owner that the primary clutch be replaced. There is not much labor in this job, but the new clutch will be expensive.

Interestingly, this is the third Yamaha with clutch problems in the village in the last few months.


Saturday, August 28, 2010


Today Harold and I spent some time in the shop fixing up a mountain bike for AnnMarie and I to ride. The bike is a nice Gary Fisher that someone gave to us a few years ago. It has been sitting unused in a shed, but now that Harold is biking around town I have some incentive to get it working.

The first step was to use the angle grinder to cut the old "U" lock off the frame. I am not sure if they gave us a key for it or not?

Before putting a new tube in the rear tire I inspected the inside of the tire. You are supposed to do that in case there is something that could puncture the new tube. Normally you never find anything, but today there were two large thorns sticking through the tire! I had to use a pair of pliers to pull them out.

After getting the tire together we adjusted the brakes and the bearing on the front stem. Harold was a big help spinning the pedals around while I tested the brakes.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Yamaha Outboard

Sometimes what's in the shop, isn't in the shop.

We have a lagoon near our village that makes a natural harbor where you can keep your boat safe from the big waves on the ocean beach. This is where most people keep their boats. Today I was down at the lagoon working on a newer Yamaha outboard. The owner told me that the wires from battery get hot enough to smoke and the motor is hard to start.

It turns out that the main battery cables had a small damaged area that had allowed the copper wires to corrode. The corroded section of wire caused so much resistance that the wires did actually heat up and smoke when you tried to start the motor. The salt water environment is hard on electrical equipment.

It was a simple job to cut off the wires before the bad spot and put new terminals on the ends. I crimped and soldered the new terminals on and reconnected them to the motor.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Suzuki DT 20

Today I spent some of my time in the shop scraping the head for a Suzuki DT 20 outboard motor. It had a blown head gasket, a bad water pump, a cracked tiller arm, and a was in need of a general clean up/ tune up.

The water pump impeller is an easy fix, just take four bolts out and replace the impeller. I found another old motor to take the tiller arm off, just two bolts and the two throttle cables. But, the old gaskets on the head and water jacket are very stubborn. I think when the motor over heated (from the frozen water pump) the gaskets got cooked into a rock hard state. I may end up flat filing it and then sanding the gasket surface on a large flat plate?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Arctic Cat ATV

Today I worked on an Arctic Cat ATV. The owner towed it down to my place and I actually worked on it outside since the weather was ok and the shop had other things in it.

When I got the vehicle none of the electric system was working. The battery checked out fine at 12.4 volts. A modern ATV like this has about 6 fuses and they all check out good. I finally traced the problem down to a corroded wire leading to the ignition switch. The wire actually corroded away and broke off right where it went into the plug for the switch.

Once I located the problem it was a simple job to solder a new wire between the plug and the main wire harness.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Honda 90 Outboard

I currently have a 90 hp Honda outboard motor in the shop. I bought it in non running condition from somebody here in Brevig a few years ago. I am fixing it up to put on our boat.

The motor has very few hours on it, but it was sunk in saltwater once. This led to some corrosion in the ignition wiring, the starter motor, and the power trim pump.

I was able to track down the faulty connections in the wiring and clean them up. I swapped out the starter motor and trim unit from another broken motor that I have. I also changed the water pump and thermostat just to make sure everything was in good shape. Next step is to put the lower unit on and drop it in my test tank.

The motor was originally set up with remote controls (steering wheel and throttle lever) but for my simple open boat I decided to put a tiller control on the motor. I was able to find a brand new Honda 90 tiller on Ebay for only $200. You can see it laying on the floor under the motor. It only takes a few bolts and a couple of wires to connect it and then it will be ready to run.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Shop

This is a blog about what I am working on in my shop. I go out to my workshop almost everyday. Sometimes it is for my "business" , Rudstrom Repair, and sometimes it is just for one of my own projects, but nearly everyday I head out to the shop.

The shop is an 8' by 20' shipping container. Containers are all over in Alaska and they make a small but sturdy building. I insulated mine with a layer of 2" foam and plywood on the inside. I have a fuel oil burning Toyostove for heat. The shop is wired for both 110 and 220. There is a dust extractor that I use to ventilate the shop when I am welding, grinding, or test running an engine. The outside has racks for steel pipe and angle for welding projects. One corner of the shop has a small jib crane that I can use to move heavy projects around.

Next to the shop I have a small storage building (the generator building). This building originally housed the schools backup electrical generator. I purchased it from them and moved it over to our place to use to for storage space. The generator building is also insulated and wired, but does not have any heat.

Between the shop and the generator building is a wooden deck that measures about 20' x 20'. The deck and the two buildings sit up on cribbing about 24" high. This helps keep the snow from drifting around the buildings.

That's a quick description of the shop, come back again and find out what I'm working on.